When HIRS Rules the World: Part I
When H.I.R.S. Rules the World
It was the 23rd of March, because my watch said so.
It was night, because the darkness outside led me to believe so.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I was surprised to notice four pairs of eyes gawking at me in disbelief, four silhouettes towering over me. When I sat up in the unfamiliar, cold and hard bed, a barrage of questions showered me.
“Are you feeling okay?” asked a tall, slender figure. A girl.
“Do you remember your name? Where do you come from? How did you get here? How old are you?” All of those questions came from the mouth of the same person. A boy. Having received no answers, he frowned a little. “Can’t you speak?” he questioned. It was a deep, concerned voice.
“Shut up! You’re going to make her head explode!” This boy seemed at ease. His voice almost sounded cheerful.
“Guys, let’s get her some food and give her time,” whispered another girl. The moonlight leaking from the small windows revealed her shiny blonde hair. She turned to me. “I’ll come back with something for you to eat. You can go take a shower if you want to, I’ll get you some new clothes.” She pointed at the bathroom at the other end of the room. I nodded.
As they were about to exit the room, my mouth opened, and words came out: “My name is Abby.” The blonde-haired girl nodded, and her mouth curved into a smile. The door closed behind the four strangers.
An hour later, I was wearing new clothes—a crimson red long-sleeved shirt and a pair of black jeans—and I had eaten a pretty hearty meal—some sort of soup or porridge, it didn’t really matter to me as long as it was edible.
I went to find the strangers who were there when I woke up. Perhaps the only people that could have answers to my questions.
The door of the room opened with a slight screech. The corridor was brightly lit, and I had trouble keeping my eyes open after having been in the dark for a while. I headed towards the only room that I could see in front of me. I couldn’t help but notice how white everything around me was. The walls, the doors, the floor, the ceiling. I searched for a hint of color somewhere, in vain. It made me feel uncomfortable, and a shiver of uneasiness ran down my spine. Where was I? Why did everything seem so… pure? I walked on, hoping that I would soon understand what had happened.
Before I could raise my arm to knock at the overly white-colored door, someone opened it for me. It was a boy. “Come in,” he said in a silvery voice, gesturing towards the spacious room. His voice. I hadn’t heard it before. He wasn’t there when I had woken up.
I managed to smile at him, and entered the room. All of the strangers were there: the two boys, the two girls, plus the new boy. I was relieved to finally see colors: The girls were wearing delicate V-necked flower print summer dresses, and the three boys wore plain cotton shirts and shorts, but at least they weren’t white. The most colorful part of the room, though, was the wall opposite to the door. It was covered in photographs, drawings, maps and small pieces of papers where little messages seemed to have been scribbled by an unsteady hand. I scanned the collection of photos on the wall and was shocked to recognize a picture of me and my family—one from my sixteenth birthday party—hanging among a sea of other pictures of people I did not know. I shifted my gaze slightly to the right and found a detailed map of the city I lived in. I figured there must have been something else related to me that was stuck on that wall. I scrutinized every corner of the surface, and I found a piece of paper that had my name at the top, centered; it was a handwriting that I couldn’t recognize. Before I could read the rest of note, the new stranger started talking. He must have noticed my confused and slightly anxious facial expression, because he said: “We’ll explain everything.” The same silvery voice. Clear, light and pleasant. “My name is Antoine,” he said, extending his hand for me to shake. I took it and shook it firmly. His hand was warm compared to mine.
He was fairly tall, his body slim and fit, with brown twinkling eyes and soft chestnut-brown hair that arced over his forehead. His friendly face emitted some sort of invisible signal that made me feel comfortable right away. He didn’t need to do much to gain my trust.
I turned to face the others and they told me about themselves.
Louise was the tall slender figure.
Sybil (they called her Syb most of the time) was the blond haired girl.
They were twins, even though it didn’t seem like it. Louise’s hair was the color of hazelnut and chocolate, and her eyes were a shiny dark brown, glowing like two polished marbles positioned carefully on her face. Syb’s hair was the color of honey and sunshine, and her eyes were a bright blue sky, an endless peaceful ocean.
Eddy was the inquisitive boy with a deep voice. His round face contained two dark, glowing beads that were his eyes, full of sincerity. His broad-shouldered and muscular body looked imposing and inspired respect and admiration.
John was the comfortable, cheerful boy. His ash-blonde, fuzzy hair somehow reflected his personality: lighthearted, charismatic and outgoing. His skinny body was covered with a slightly tanned and freckled skin that made his clear blue eyes pop out.
Eddy and John were best friends and had grown up together, though they seemed to argue all the time. However, the look on their faces said it all: they only argued because they cared about each other, they only insulted each other because they loved each other.
It was my turn to speak, but I didn’t know where to start.
“Well, I’m Abby, 18 years old,” the words came out very dry, my voice felt rusty and gruff at first, but it adjusted as I kept talking. “I have no idea how I got here. I remember almost everything up to the point where I woke up and found you guys, though.” A short pause, then I found myself talking again. “I used to live in a city called Maisons-Laffitte, in France…” I noticed how Antoine’s eyes lit up at the last few words; he was obviously French—you could tell by his name. “Where are we exactly? Are we still even on Earth?” I regretted that last question as soon as I asked it because it sounded so stupid, but the others took it as a joke. They laughed, and I enjoyed witnessing their laughter. Then, Eddy spoke up.
“We are on Earth indeed, on the Deep Isles.”
The name was familiar. I had heard of it in history class. I wondered when the last time I had been to school was.
“You mean the islands that were discovered in 2026? No one has been there since they were discovered!” I couldn’t hide the tone of confusion and panic in my voice. There was a specific reason why this place was called ‘the Deep Isles.’ It was a gloomy name. Not a good sign.
“Yeah. But this is where we are, and we’re still alive so far.” I could tell that Eddy’s words were meant to be comforting, but I couldn’t avoid the pang of dread that hit me in the chest. Was there a possibility of death?
“How long have you been here? And how do you even know where we are?” The questions just spurted out of my mouth; I was impressed by my brain’s ability to continue seeking information despite my state of shock.
John got up and walked towards the wall that I had examined just a moment ago. His hand hovered above the hanging pieces of paper, and then his finger landed on a small note. It was pinned right onto the map of a group of islands—certainly the Deep Isles. I approached to get a better look. Capital letters, red ink. The handwriting looked scary, menacing, even. The note said:
YOU ARE ON THE DEEP ISLES, WHERE RULES DO NOT APPLY AND WHERE THERE IS NO TRACE OF HUMAN ACTIVITY EXCEPT THE BUILDING THAT YOU FIND YOURSELVES IN. YOU CAN ONLY LEAVE ONCE YOU HAVE FULFILLED YOUR PURPOSE.
(To Be Continued)
© 2017 H Bakerley